She was a Home And Away favourite for 20 years in the role of Sally Fletcher but now actress Kate Ritchie has opened up about her struggle to find separation from the character.
The now 39-year-old star was just eight when she first appeared in Summer Bay in 1987. And she recently opened up about 'finding her own identity' outside of her beloved character.
"People wanted to meet me because of Sally, or I won awards because of Sally, or I was invited to great events because of Sally," Kate told Stellar.
"When you don't remember your life without it and all of a sudden that doesn't exist, you wonder, 'what is it about me that is attractive?"
Trying to navigate puberty on and off camera also proved difficult for the young star.
"Puberty wasn't kind to me. I was incredibly well-endowed, and I think they thought the best thing to do would be to throw a big T-shirt over that and pretend it's not happening," Kate revealed before reflecting on character Sally's ordeal with her first bra.
"Of course, when you are 16 and you are watching Melissa George and Isla Fisher and Tempany Deckert grace the cover of TV WEEK... of course that's challenging to one's identity and ego," she reveals. "But it was the best thing for me."
Kate left the show in 2007 with her final scenes airing in 2008. She admits Sally was a 'security blanket' she had to learn to live without.
"It's been a very long process of trying to work that out - it was about finding my own identity. And what I realised is, 'No, Kate brought wonderful things to my life.' I had to finally realise Sally was a result of me, not the other way around."
Kate has since gone on to host the Kate, Tim and Marty Radio Show on Nova as well as welcome her now three-year-old daughter Mae into the world.